1. ITV Report

Woman with disfigurement suffers 'horrendous' abuse

A north Belfast woman with a facial disfigurement says she's forced to wear headphones when she leaves her home so she can't hear the abuse which is hurled at her.

Mother-of-two Janine Howard told UTV she is also mocked on social media and would like the police to do more to help her.

"It upsets me but the only thing I have of controlling it is by putting my headphones in and blanking it all out," she told UTV.

Janine told UTV she wants police to do more. Credit: UTV

Janine was three years old when she was diagnosed with leukaemia.

While being treated in hospital she contracted a bacterial infection, which resulted in her face being disfigured.

Now 33, she says her life is a living hell as she faces a tirade of abuse, mainly from teenagers and children, when she leaves her home.

"I basically can't go out of the house to go even round to the shop without plugging a set of headphones into my phone," she said.

"Basically there's that many of them out there, the names they come out with are just horrendous."

Janine says she abused by young people outdoors and on social media. Credit: UTV

Janine, who has had over 20 operations since she was a child, says she is also mocked on social media.

"Just leave me alone and let me live my life and walk the streets like a normal human being the way I should be able to," was her message to those behind the abuse. "If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't talk to me at all."

Janine says she would like the police to do more to help her.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the PSNI said: "Now we have been made aware of the abuse Janine Howard is being subjected to, we will be in conact with her to offer support and fully nvestigate the matter."

"Hate crime in all its forms is wrong."